A group of Rebbetzins had the opportunity to attend a special training seminar in Warsaw last week. Organised by Mrs. Charlotte Dunner under the auspices of the European Beth Din and with the support of Dayan Chanoch Ehrentreu, shlita, this was the third such seminar offering practical training and tools for Rebbetzins across Europe in order to provide them with skills and help with challenges in their communal roles.
The seminar took place over a four-day period, with over 45 Rebbetzins joining from communities across Eastern and Western Europe, including France, Gibraltar, Spain, Germany and the Ukraine, as well as one Rebbetzin from the USA. The range of women present, as well the diversity of the communities they represented, meant that the participants had a rare opportunity to network and interact with others in similar positions, to compare challenges, and to grow and learn from the experiences of others.
The focus of this year’s seminar was ‘Balancing Responsibilities’, and participants had the opportunity to hear from a range of outstanding speakers and expert professionals, including Rabbi Michael Schudrich, Chief Rabbi of Poland; Rebbetzin Ruchie Ehrentreu; Rebbetzin Chava Copperman from Jerusalem; Dr. Shani Perl from London, and the renowned psychologist Dr. David Pelcovitz, who joined the seminar from the USA.
The seminar was also honoured by the presence of. Dr. Charlotte Knobloch, former President of the Central Council of Jews in Germany and current President of Munich’s Jewish Community.
The seminar opened on Sunday evening with Rabbi Schudrich giving an interesting lecture on today’s Warsaw community. On Monday morning the seminar started off with a powerful lecture delivered by Rebbetzin Ehrentreu. This was followed by a series of lectures by Dr. Pelcovitz of Yeshiva University on the subject of “The Rebbetzin as Everything to Everyone” – a subject that he presented on excellently and in depth.
Dr. Shani Perl brought pre-war Warsaw alive to the participants by providing some illuminating historical background, while Rebbetzin Copperman focused on family priorities, extracting examples and teachings from the Tanach.
A special gala dinner was held on the penultimate evening of the seminar in honour of several guests, including Dr. Knobloch, and the latter being highly impressed by the seminar, extended a warm invitation to the organisers to hold the seminar in Munich next year!
On the final morning of the seminar, participants were treated to a guided tour of the famous Polin Museum, which provided a glimpse of the rich history of the Jews in Poland.
The organisers are extremely indebted to the caterer and owner of Kosher Delight, Mr. Pinchas Etzioni, who ensured that every meal during the event was a culinary delight, and who also provided the premises for the seminar.
The seminar was kindly sponsored by Ner L’Elef and many other generous, anonymous donors around the world, without whom the event would not have been possible. Both the organisers and the participants extend their gratitude to those who enabled this third seminar for Rebbetzins in Europe to become a reality through their generosity and kindness.